Oh Kid, You Don’t Know Who You’re Messing With

I know I’ve told you about the nasty note that I got when I was in 3rd grade. It was from my friend Becky, and while she wasn’t actually mad at me, it was kind of mean. I may never remember my phone number properly (also: bite me Topamax), but I can tell you that her note read:

Dear Becky,

I like you a little bit, but it grows smaller every day.

Love,

Becky

That she signed it “Love, Becky” proved that she didn’t really mean it and we were friends again within a couple of weeks, because that’s life when you’re 8.

Throughout the years there have been plenty of people who didn’t like me, and mostly, it hasn’t bothered me. I took great pride when I found “BECKY SHERRICK IS A BITCH” written on a desk in high school, because who wouldn’t? I mean, I consider that sort of high praise, which is probably what the writer intended, since it was written on the desk I always sat in.

Occasionally, my ass will chafe when I’m accused of something I didn’t do or someone will blatantly say something they don’t think I’ll see (note to Twitter: @-ing me means I see it). But if you don’t like me, well, that’s well within your right. I don’t have to like you either.

But I’m 29, not 8, and having people be MEAN to me isn’t something that ruins my day.

Turns out that my kid, my sweet autistic 8 year old, the kid who was born without a mean bone in his body, is being bullied again. And that, well, that chaps my balls and makes my blood boil.

Perhaps, I wasn’t suited to be the one to have the conversation with my son.

Aunt Becky: “So what’s this punk doing to you?”

Ben: “He’s trying to upset me. He’s mean to me.”

Aunt Becky (rifles through empty brain cavity trying to match this with a solution): “Okay, so here’s the thing with bullies: you have to figure out what they’re trying to do, okay?”

Ben: “…..”

Aunt Becky: “You know, if they’re trying to make you cry, or make you feel bad, or make you mad or whatever. Right? Because he’s trying to get a reaction out of you.”

Ben: “OKAY! I get it!”

Aunt Becky (thanks God for having an older brother and therefore frame of reference): “Once you figure out the reaction, DON’T GIVE IN TO IT. Don’t bother getting upset. That doesn’t do any good. Being mad? What good does that do? Nothing. Crying? Solves nothing.”

Ben: “Okay, so the first step is to figure out what they’re trying to do.”

Aunt Becky: “Yes. Then, don’t do it.”

Ben: “Okay.”

Aunt Becky: “Then? You get even.”

Ben: “….”

Aunt Becky: “Not like, being mean BACK, but by telling the teacher or telling your mom, or telling the playground monitor, or telling an adult. You can’t let him get away with it! You have to stand up for yourself, Ben. You HAVE to.”

Ben: “Step one, figure out what he’s trying to do, step two, don’t do it, step three, get even. By telling an adult!”

Aunt Becky: “Yes.”

Ben: “I got it!”

Ben scampers off to play with his siblings.

(Later)

Aunt Becky: “So I told Ben how to deal with his bully.”

The Daver: “Oh yeah?”

Aunt Becky: “That bullshit our parents always spouted about ‘walking away’ was such crap. I mean, it never helped us learn anything about handling conflict. Kids can be such assholes.”

The Daver: “No shit.”

Aunt Becky: “So I taught him ‘don’t get mad, get even!'”

The Daver: “WHAT?”

Aunt Becky: “Well, yeah.”

The Daver: “Becky, you didn’t.”

Aunt Becky: “Not like with a machine gun. More like as a catch phrase. ‘Don’t get mad, get even by telling the teacher.’ You know Ben, he won’t tell the teacher anything.”

The Daver: *phew*

Aunt Becky: “Besides, he can remember phrases like that.”

The Daver: “Good call.”

I also put a call in to his teacher and am waiting on a call back. You know, this is the kind of stuff I always want to tell the new parents I see worrying over the car seats in the baby aisle at Target. Like, ‘ENJOY THIS!’ because it gets so much harder.

Colic was bad, but this, this hurts your soul and there isn’t jack you can really do to make it better. There’s no zantac for the heartbreak.

So Bully-Kid, wherever you are, you’d better lay the fuck off my kid. Because I don’t care what weakness you smell in him, he’s a thousand times stronger than you’ll ever be.

So back off.

Aunt Becky Cries It Out

3AM: “Amelia needs to cry it out.”

3:15AM: “This really sucks listening to Daver snore as I’m laying here NOT SLEEPING. Maybe I should kick him. That might make me feel better.”

3:18 AM: “ACK. Okay, I just got my eyes gouged as I tried to sleep. FINE, Amelia, we’ll go downstairs. Sitting here and falling asleep only to be woken up every two seconds is torture. ”

3:20 AM: “I should totally go to my reader and leave my friends random middle of the night comments.”

3:30 AM: “Hahahahaha! I AM SO FUNNY BECAUSE A FLEET OF RUBBER DUCKS IS….”

3:31 AM: “Shit, okay, I was hallucinating. BREATHE, THERE ARE NO DUCKS OUT TO SHOOT YOU.”

6:15 AM: “I hate everyone. And everything. Especially puppies. And kittens. Fuck, man, Amelia really needs to start to soothe herself.”

6:20 AM: “zzzzz”

6:22 AM: “Fucking formula is ALL OVER ME and it’s cold and I’m wet and this sucks. That’s what I get for trying to make a bottle while sleeping.”

6:24-7:12 AM: “Oooh formula is warm and I swear I don’t know how to dance on a stripper pole and holy shit I’m dreaming that I’m at a rave and lookit the glow sticks….”

7:13: “SHIT. Alex is up now. I bet he just took a crap.”

10:40 AM: “Okay, this has really got to stop. Neither Dave nor I can handle this shit any longer. Maybe I should lug those sleep books out of storage.”

10:42: “OOOH! LOOKIT! A BLUE CAR!”

12:48 PM: “Hm, so where did I put those books again? I’m going to grab them out and SHOW them to Amelia to THREATEN her that if she doesn’t start properly sleeping like a normal baby, I’ll have to OPEN the book and READ IT.”

1:13 PM: “Ha! I TOTALLY showed her the “No Cry Sleep Solution For Dummies” book and I bet this is going to be what makes her sleep at night again! I’ll SCARE her into sleep! HA!”

1:17 PM: “These words, they’re dripping onto my lap and…zzz….zzz…”

1:46 PM: “I just totally drooled all over myself. Thank God neither of the small kids will notice because they think nothing of crapping their pants regularly. I wish I could crap my pants. Maybe I should think about some Astronaut Diapers like that crazy lady wore to stalk that guy.”

2:12 PM: “Now I remember why these books didn’t work for Alex. They don’t SOLVE it FOR you. You have to do WORK. Like make POOR SWEET ICKLE BABIES CRY. I hate crying babies.”

2:43 PM: “Just the THOUGHT of making Amelia cry at night is making me nauseous and gassy. I can’t do it. I just can’t do it. Maybe I can pay someone else to come and do it. Surely if I can pay someone to potty train my kid, someone will come teach her to sleep.”

2:48 PM: “SOBS. I need to take some Advil. My head is throbbing just thinking of her tears tonight. Damn, I wish I had a Xanax or eleventy-niner.”

2:54: “Wait…..wait…..is eleventy-niner a word?”

3:10 PM: “I don’t think it’s a word, but it SHOULD be. Maybe I should be in charge of making new words up and putting them into the dictionary.”

4:30 PM: “It’s not gonna happen. She’ll never go to sleep. Man, I’m fucking HUNGRY. And seriously did I just lose a wigs’ worth of hair?”

5:34 PM: “Googling ‘Cry It Out’ makes me feel WORSE about myself and the world.”

5:46 PM: “Twittering about CIO is going to make people totally send me hate mail and lob breast pump parts in my direction. Note to self: check Friend or Follow when I get to a computer again.”

6:02 PM: “Bejeweled makes my brain melty and good.”

6:32 PM: “I bet she’s teething or something, that’s probably why she now sleeps so lightly that the gentle breeze ruffling the ribbon on some prized pig in Vancouver is waking her up. I can’t make a TEETHING baby cry it out.”

6:43 PM: “PHEW! I don’t have to make her cry it out. She’s teething. THAT’S GOT to be it. I mean, sure we were convinced that Alex was teething for eleventy niner years and no, he was not. He was just…unpleasant.”

7:10: “Shit, man, I’m hungry, and damn, I’m tired. Tonight is going to be loooonnnnggg. Thank GOD she talked me out of letting her cry it out. She’s just a defenseless BABY and The Internet tells me that it’s cruel. EVERYTHING The Internet says is true, I know.”

7:12 PM: “I bet she won’t wake up in the middle of the night when she’s a teenager. Better savor this as best I can. Also, I miss cupcakes. I would cut a bitch for a cupcake. Dieting blows.”

9:40 AM: “Dude. DUDE. Threatening her with the CIO books TOTALLY WORKED. Those books are GENIUS! I now I need to pull out my Calc 3 books and threaten her to LEARN CALCULUS baby OR I’LL HAVE TO OPEN THE BOOK AND….TEACH YOU.”

Surely, Mr. Editor, There Must Have Been A Mistake

I’ve been in the paper before: one time I got busted shoplifting (shut UP! I was 14 and it was HAIR PICKS)(SHUT UP), I was typically on the honor roll because I am a complete over achiever, but for fear of a vicious ex-boyfriend, I didn’t even put my wedding announcement in there.

I didn’t really want a rehash of the last scene of The Graduate–this time with police and guns and restraining orders! Oh My!–on My Big Day.

So imagine my surprise when I get a shout out in an article about my friend Stefanie Wilder-Taylor, from The New York Times. Certainly you should all take to the editor with your spears and torches to tell nay, to SCREAM to them that I am highly unworthy of such an honor.

Because, obviously.

Tell Me It’s Just A Bad Case Of Lovin’ You.

Tuesday night found me gnashing my teeth, feeling overwhelmingly sorry for myself while sitting on the couch crying, “Oh noes!” Nothing was technically WRONG, but for some reason the first Early Intervention interview (for those who have been there: it’s the paperwork one) threw me through a loop.

That and the idiotic thing I did where I went back and gathered up all of the insurance/doctor notes/crap I’ve been sent since Amelia was born and threw it into a folder. Glancing down at it while I was doing it was as advisable as looking at an MRI of your child’s grey matter.

So there I was, prostrate with self-pity and overall stupidity, crying my ever-loving head off.

I went to bed a couple of hours later with my head pounding (I’ve been having a string of headaches. Which led, in part, to my Pity Party) only to be woken up at odd intervals by my son, who was flipping around in his crib in the next room.

I woke up The Daver to have him go in there and move Alex’s crib away from the wall and to check on the ickle dude. Why I sent Dave in there and not me, I don’t know.

He’d gotten a bug bite overnight on Sunday and woke up Monday with a small lump on his face. By Tuesday afternoon, it had begun to swell slightly. I’d pumped him full of Benedryl, Ibuprofen and Tylenol to pull down some of the swelling, and he’d gone into a deep sleep.

(aside: Thank you Benedryl for awesomely putting my kid to sleep)

We’re not alarmist sort of parents, we don’t take our kids to the ER for fevers of unknown origin unless they’re incredibly high (the fevers, not my kid. Because if my kid is high, he should be sharing), and I rarely call the doctor to schedule anything besides the well-child visits.

Dave shuffled in to Alex’s room where he found our son flopping about in his bed. After his record 3 hour nap that afternoon, it wasn’t terribly shocking that he was up at 1 AM. In a stroke of divine luck (not Divine Brown), Dave picked Alex up. The kid was burning up.

Well, fuck. The insect bite that we’d ignored was now making him sick as fcuk.

I heard Alex calling “Let’s go see Mommy. Let’s go see Mommy” so I knew he was up. As Dave changed his diaper, I went to give him a kiss. The sight before my eyes made me tear up with non-self-pitying tears. Alex now looked as though he’d been thoroughly beaten. His left eye was nearly swollen shut, bruised and pink and his cheek looked like he’d been smuggling marbles.

I sighed, went back upstairs to put pants on, wiping tears from my eyes (he looked THAT bad) and got dressed. Dave woke Amelia up. It was Hospital Time.

Choosing to go to the ER at the hospital that Mimi had her surgery because they boasted a pediatric ER, we headed off.

We got there, parked, and trundled in, looking as bedraggled as we’d ever been. We joked that they were going to call CPS on us after seeing Alex’s face. Alex was cheerful, though, more so than Dave or I, and Amelia just looked dazed. Pleased by my choice, we walked down a deserted hallway to get to the ER.

Score, I said to myself. It looks DEAD here. Perfect.

As we rounded the corner, we came to a line. Of people. Fuck. At the head of the line was a lumpy Jabba-The-Hut-I-Have-No-Angles type woman who was robotically taking names and entering them into a computer. Everywhere I looked, every chair, every available surface was covered by sick people.

We checked in eventually, where I confused the receptionist by asking if there was somewhere that I could sit that wasn’t full of contagious sick people. Alex had something, but it wasn’t spreading. She was unable to knock her remaining 2 synapses together and just stared vacantly at me.

Okay, then.

An hour went by, Amelia got reswaddled and fell back asleep while Alex continually grabbed my hand and yelled “let’s GO Mommy” every time we went back near the entrance. I tried to avoid touching any surfaces and breathing deeply. After that hour we still hadn’t been seen by triage, so I went back to the dazed receptionist to see what the wait was like.

When she said 3 hours, I nearly decked her. Information that might have been useful when I checked in.

At 2:30 in the morning, we were back on the road, headed to another hospital. The beauty of living where I do is that it’s not insanely populated. While there are people who assumably need ER’s, a wait like 3 hours is nearly unheard of.

We checked in to hospital #2 and were barely done putting the bracelet on Alex’s arm before we were whisked back to a room by a nurse. 10 minutes later, we saw the doctor. 5 minutes after that, we had a diagnosis and some antibiotics ordered from the pharmacy.

The longest part of the second hospital visit was waiting to make sure that Alex didn’t go into anaphylaxis from the antibiotic shot (he’s never been on antibiotics. Which, now that I think about it, explains the massive diarrhea today. Anyhow, moving on). For 20 minutes, we crawled the halls, looking into each room for Happy’s (the pain chart faces).

It was great until I realized how fucking heavy 30 pounds is and that one of the rooms we were peering into had a corpse in it. Then I felt kinda voyeuristic.

We left, sans anaphylaxis, with strict orders that should this not improve, Alex will be admitted for IV antibiotics. Which sounds like hell. Unless they sedate us both. Then I could totally get behind it.

He’s better today than yesterday. He’s a little less puffy and looks even more like he’s been in a wicked bar-fight (you should SEE the other guy! Yuk-yuk-yuk).

—————

How are YOU today? Any good hospital (boner) stories for Aunt Becky today?

Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me: Third Trimester Edition

*Defying all laws of time and space, the last month of pregnancy is significantly longer than the previous 8.

*All of the issues (nausea, sleepiness, vomiting, utter bat-shit craziness) that plagued you during trimester 1 will rear their ugly head yet again. Only it’s less charming this time.

*(especially if it’s your first baby) You’ll imagine each and every twinge to be the Start Of Labor and probably end up in L/D more times than you’d think only to be told that you’re not even contracting.

*After you have this baby, you’ll agree that nothing feels like labor except for…well, labor.

*Ending up in L/D and being sent home will make you feel more embarrassed than you’d imagine would be a logical reaction.

*Speaking of “logical,” you’re not. And you haven’t been for a long time. You won’t know how nuts you are until after the wee one comes and you realize that you no longer have any urge to clean the toliet with a toothbrush.

*Leaking pee will become a new and disgusting way of life. And you’ll occasionally think it’s your bag of waters breaking. It’s probably not. But, take it from me, get that fucker checked out.

*If you’re like me, the hospital bag you pack will go largely untouched, so don’t freak out. They’ll usually give you free ickle bottles of shampoo and the lot. Use these and then THROW THEM AWAY. Sure, you’re in L/D or Mother/Baby, but it’s still a hospital. And hospitals = germies.

*You will finally tire of talking about this baby because all that you can think about is how ready you are for this to be over.

*The fears of labor will quickly be replaced by the fears of never having this damn baby.

*Having wee feet kicking your internal organs and trying desperately to seperate your ribs from your spinal cord is just as charming (and painful) as you imagine it will be.

*Did I mention how off the rocker you are? Because you TOTALLY are.

*Once you hit 37 weeks, people will check in on you daily with one annoying question: have you had that baby yet? You may very well want to smack them.

*People will start snickering when you walk into a room. Presumably because you now look like Grimace. Or a Weeble.

*You will start to moan and groan every time you have to change positions. And you will be acutely aware of how dumb you sound and how feeble you now are.

*Try as best as you can to rest and revel in the attention people are paying to you right now. Because once that baby gets here, swollen and stitched up vagina and all, no one will give a flying crap about you. Just the baby.

*Your breasts are going to develop a mind (and body!) of their own. They will be equally as painful now as they were back in old trimester 1.

What am I missing, party people?

Nut Wars!

Wow, now holy crap! I even got The Daver to comment on my last post, which almost certainly means that the sign of Armageddon is nigh. A big thank you to everyone who took the time to comment on the post, because if I hadn’t wanted YOUR opinion, I wouldn’t have asked.

See, Aunt Becky cares what YOU think!

And hearing all of your different viewpoints made me feel the slightest bit better because I’ve been a bit mixed up since I learned of it.

Of course I am not all We Should Kill Kids With Allergies or anything, because even if they’re annoying kids (aren’t they all?) I still like ’em around, but this situation is both more than a minor irritation and absolutely indicative of something far greater wrong with Ben’s private school.

I have the greatest of empathy for children with severe allergies, trust me, I do, because I know just how severe nut allergies CAN be and I know how hard it is to shop healthfully for a child with Food Issues.

The issue has far less to do with this child and far more to do with the manner it has been handled by the school. There is no lunch prepared by the school for my son’s classroom, which means that we as parents are expected to pack it each and every day. No big deal. But if I am expected to pack him a lunch for school WITHOUT any sorts of nuts at all, no nut oils, no nut ingredients, (Nut Ban!) I would really appreciate an itemized list of things that are not allowed.

Because now, it is effectively up to the parents to research, pour over, and create foods that do not have any nuts in them whatsoever.

THAT is what I’m annoyed by.

Dave finally spoke with the school this morning and found out the incident that caused this Nut Ban! was when an infant sibling (not a student) was kissed by his older brother (a student) and went into anaphylaxis. The baby is fine, after a brief stint in the hospital, but this is what triggered the ban.

(apparently, there are also other kids with less severe reactions to peanuts but still allergic also at Ben’s school)

And of COURSE I don’t want dead siblings, but when Daver astutely mentioned that there should be some hand washing protocol (honestly as a nurse, there should be one anyway), the administrator had nothing to say about that. No real ideas about that being important. Also, no list of banned items for us. Again, the onus is on the parents to research and prepare.

So in my opinion, it’s time for Vodka (for me) and Public Schools (for him), where I can be ignored for free.

Now look! A blue car!

In *Your* Honest Opinion…

Say that you just got word that your son’s school is going Nut Free (snicker, snicker) for the year because a new enrollee has nut allergies.

And your own son, with many of his sensory issues still looming large, will only eat peanut butter sandwiches for lunch, perhaps the most nutritious part of lunch for him.

And you’ve tried all sorts of other alternatives to peanut butter sandwiches last year just to try and get the kid to open up his freaking mind a little–all to no avail. He won’t eat ’em.

And this school has strict limitations for what OTHER kinds of food can be brought in (no chocolate, no chips, no colored juices, etc), but you don’t know what they are until your child comes home and tells you. AFTER you’ve packed this *forbidden* item in his lunch.

(and no, I never packed him a Mountain Dew or bag of Cheetos or anything. It was a granola bar with teeny chocolate chips in it. Like squint and you’ll miss ’em sized)

And you’ve put in 2 calls to the school to make damn certain you get a list of SPECIFICALLY which foods are *forbidden* but no one has called you back.

*OH* And the kid with the allergy is likely not even on the side of campus where your child is, let alone in the same classroom.

How would you feel about this? I want your honest opinions. Go anonymous if you have to.

Is This Too Much?

Now, we all know how gross I can be. I don’t generally talk about it here, but I have posted about such titillating topics as, What Happens When You’re Allergic To Yeast Infection Cream, Who SHOULD Sleep in The Wet Spot, and Summer Curtains (vagina in summer). I guess I’ve outgrown being really gross, but I have a question for you.

In my book, I have written an essay based on a blog post. A blog post about being diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, which if you know anything about it, is no real laughing matter. Except when it is. Because if you can’t laugh at the phrase “Bowel Resection” or “Colostomy Bag” you have no soul. Especially when it’s YOUR future phrases here.

Anyway, here’s the initial blog post. I’m not posting the essay b/c, well, I’m lazy and it’s much longer than this. I’ve tweaked it around so Dave isn’t offering to handle my feces but my Bucket ‘o’ Poo.

“I’d imagine that most couples had a far more romantic situation when they realized that the person across the table from them would be the person that they spent the rest of their lives with. I’m picturing an intimate candlelit dinner, or a walk in the park when all of the flowers are fragrant and blooming beautifully, maybe lazing around on bearskin rug in front of a cozy fireplace (complete with crackling logs, of course) with strawberries and champagne.

While I picture this to be all well and good for other people, the moment that I knew with absolute certainty that Dave was the man that (like it or not) I would be spending the rest of my days with was absolutely nothing like this. In fact, it was so far removed from romantic that it might be called The Anti-Romance.

You see, I knew that Dave would be my husband for as long as we both could stand each other when he not only allowed me to put my bucket of frozen fecal matter in his freezer, but offered to help me place the sample IN the bucket.

If that ain’t true love, I’ll never know what is.

But let me back up for a moment, to illuminate PRECISELY why I was doing this (and to reassure you that I don’t have some really foul fetish).

It started over the winter, the pain and the constant crapping, but I kept writing it off as stress or something that I’d eaten (I’m telling you here and now that health care professionals are REALLY the last to seek medical care). Eventually it dawned on me that my body was rebelling against me, and that mayhap I should get it checked out.

So I made an appointment with a gastroenterologist in the area, and begrudgingly trooped in, tail between my legs (no, unfortunately I do NOT have a vestigial tail, although that would be completely rad. Imagine the pranks I could pull!). Besides being completely intimidated by me (which is amazing, considering HE was going to be the one looking at MY colon. You’d imagine it’d be reversed here), he very thoroughly ordered a number of blood tests AND some *ahem* OTHER tests.

And these *ahem* OTHER tests were some of the most humiliating known to man. You think that someone looking up your pooper is shameful, wait, JUST wait until someone orders you to poop in a jar. AND THEN TAKE IT SOMEWHERE. Wait, wait, wait, I can make this MORE humiliating, I promise. Have someone inform you that you have to COLLECT all of your feces for 3! days, and THEN take it somewhere, where you are horrifyingly clear that some poor lab tech in the back is cursing you while gagging BECAUSE A COMPLETE STRANGER IS EXAMINING YOUR POO.

Hell, although the rest of my family is intent on disproving this, what with their insistance that when I sit upon the porcelain throne is the absolute perfect time to have a conversation with me and/or sneak a quick scratch behind the ears (I’m looking at YOU here, Daver), I don’t even like someone TALKING to me while I crap, let alone looking at my own personal byproducts. *I* don’t even want to look at them.

Dave insists that Rate-my-Poo dot com is the most hilarious site on the planet, but I won’t even load that into my search engine, because I do not find poo amusing. Poo jokes are golden (much like dick-n-fart jokes. Yes, I am, in fact a teenage boy, NOT a 27-year-old mother of two. Sorry about any confusion), but actually dealing with The Poo on a more intimate basis gives me the heebie-jeebies AND the Pee-Shivers.

So armed with my orders, my ‘œhat,’ my latex-free gloves, and my bucket, I decided to ‘œdo the deed’ over the weekend. Which was the time of the week that I consistantly spent with my then-boyfriend, a time that both of us treasured. I am utterly unable to censor myself, so Dave was well aware of what lay before me, and although I offered to stay home and ‘œcomplete my orders’ he insisted that he didn’t mind. He even offered to clean out his freezer for my ‘œsample’ (I don’t think he’s cleaned out a freezer again, ever.).

It’s disgusting, when you think about it (well, all of this is pretty nasty), how one must collect the poo to put it in the (extremely large and reminded me of the buckets of cookie dough or popcorn that you get from the Girl Scouts. But filled with something far less awesome) bucket. You have to complete your ‘œbusiness’ in a container that you put into the toliet affectionately called a ‘œhat,’ and THEN you must fish through your excriment to seperate the solid from the liquid (God, I have the heebie-jeebies just RECALLING this) and put it in the bucket that you’ve removed from the freezer.

Before you place the bucket back into the freezer, you must ‘œburp’ it, as the methane gas pressure can build up so much that the top will be blown off, spattering the insides of your freezer with what is decidedly NOT brownie batter.

I don’t know about you, but the absolute LAST thing that I want to do with my excrement is to touch it OR BURP IT, gloves on or not, so each time that I had to do this, I nearly wept out of shame and disgust. Dave, sensing my plight (well, more like having to listen to me whine and shake each time I had to do this), galantly offered to do it for me. He OFFERED to WILLINGLY handle my poop (I would never, ever offer to handle his, no matter how much he whined.). If that’s not love, I suppose that I’ll never know WHAT love is.

Monday morning came, and off I trucked back home which was about 45 minutes away, with the bucket-o-frozen poo sitting shotgun, strapped merrily in place. As I dropped it off at the lab, I’d wished that I were dead. No, scratch that, I’d wished that I was LESS THAN dead, I wished that I’d never been born at all. I wished that MY PARENTS had never been born. So great was my shame that I fell all over myself apologizing to the receptionist, the lab tech as well as the waiting room full of people who could have cared less. I’m certain that I looked insane.

I was later diagnosed with a mild case of Crohn’s disease, which has thankfully been in remission for several years. As for Daver and I, we’ve been more or less stuck with each other ever since. Every time that I become irritated by his colony of dirty socks that happily live next to our bed, I try my damndest to remind myself that, at one point in time, he selflessly offered to touch my poop.”

Here’s the question for you and I want you to answer honestly. I wouldn’t ask you if I didn’t want your opinion, but assuming Dave is no longer handling my poo but the BUCKET of Poo (there is a difference there, I swear), IS THIS TOO MUCH? Is it too gross? Too foul?

(it’s a true story)

Whatever The Opposite of Brave Is

The Daver took a record three days off in a row, and I was bound and determined to Do Something Together, Damn It: As A Fucking Family while he was off work. Something other than sitting around the house together, occasionally arguing about who feels worse. Daver, God love him, had a cold, and when he has a cold, I consider asking him to spend the night at work. And by “asking” I mean “insisting.”

He’s a great guy, obviously I wouldn’t have married him if he weren’t, but he’s the sort who expects sympathy cards and potentially parades thrown in his honor when he’s sick. And if, God forbid, we have the same illness, his is always far worse than mine. I’ll need a tissue while HE needs a blood transfusion. STAT, if not sooner.

On he soldiered, I must add here, and we ended up Doing Something Damn It each day he was off. Something included checking out encased meats in Chicago, followed by a whirlwind visit to the Lincoln Park Zoo, and yesterday we pilgrimaged to Lake Geneva to Go To A Beach (for Ben).

Honestly, I like being busy, and it’s something I’ve had to adjust to not being now that I’m home with the kids. Sure, I could pack them up in the car and try and do something like this without another adult, but since I’m not (yet) certifiable, I don’t.

I am, according to my informal poll, conducted by myself, in the minority. And I wonder if it’s because my kids are not Easy Kids or if it’s something to do with my lack of bravery. Everywhere I went, women had teeny tiny wee babes (I’m talking newborn sized here) while I struggled with whichever non-newborn child I was tasked with caring for (and I feel compelled to add that as newborns they were both far, far worse than they currently are. Baby Steps).

Without further adieu, I present Fights I Had On My Summer Vacation:

*Kiddie Cocktails Are The Devil’s Drink
*I Wanna Get Dooooooowwwwnnnn!
*I Wanted My Owwwwn Snow Cone
*This Car Seat Is The Work Of Satan
*I’m Hoooootttt!
*I Want, Well, SOOOOMEETHING!
*I SAID Mac ‘n’ Cheese, You Ignorant Bitch!

And I’ll let you decide who fought with me about what.

I’m sure they were there, but I saw no one, and I mean NO ONE having fights with their kids. I saw no one else looking around to see if there were some gypsies available to sell children to. No one else looked like they were deciding if they could potentially hide in the bathroom until their family left. And yet, this is how I spend pretty much every time we go out anywhere. Fighting about stupid crap (and that’s just with Dave!).

Riddle me this: am I alone in my children behaving as beasts when we’re out supposedly having a Good (fucking) Time? Do I need to get over the idea of having fun myself during Family (fucking) Fun Time?

…Follow Me, Tiny DAN-CEEER

Every now and again, Daver and I will set up shop outside (typically nursing a couple of cold frosty ones. Like Miller High Life: The Champagne of Beers) and discuss our children. His work tends to be the sort that my brain is not large enough to process and my “work” is so mind-numbingly dull (“…and THEN, and THEN I emptied the DUST BUSTER! Bwahahahaha!”) that neither of us care to discuss it.

So we instead discuss the future lives of our children. Hypothetically speaking.

And since I was a bit of a rebel in my own way (dude, have you MET NAT? Obviously a rebellion thing), I often ponder what my children will do to horrify me later in life. It’s inevitable, so we try to brace ourselves for whatever would bug us the most.

Which, maybe it’s because I’m so graceful that I nearly broke my foot walking down the stairs, or because last summer I literally fell through the front door while stone-cold sober, would be interpretive dancing.

Yes, I would die if my son became an interpretive dancer.

I have no real problems with dancer in general; if I were going to do something cultured, I’d likely chose the symphony or the opera–didn’t know your Aunt Becky liked opera, didya?–and not the ballet, but the ballet is different. I can understand ballet.

Interpretive dancing, however, baffles me. I simply don’t, and probably never will, follow or appreciate what some people think of as Dancing With The Music (Creepily). I just don’t get it. And I’m kinda freaked out by it.

I made the mistake of telling my older brother and his wife about this in a completely stupid turn of events, so now every time they see Ben, they encourage him to “do a dance that reminds him of a salad” or “doesn’t the thought of a cat make you want to dance like one?” I sit quietly there, while poor Ben tries to act this out, clenching my teeth and hissing that they had better get damn good and comfortable going to every.single.fucking.show.he.does.

They always laugh, seemingly unaware that I am deadly serious. I will drag them from their comfortable yuppie home and drive them to the abandoned warehouse my son–my interpretive dancer son–and his troupe of equally misguided youths (I hope) will perform for us all. In 100 degree heat. While we sit on the cement floor next to scuttling cockroaches.

And I will rue the day I had these as my siblings.

What would be the worst profession you could imagine your future child doing? Let’s assume that they are happy with it, so you can’t use any bullshit “whatever he’s HAPPY with” line. Let’s also leave “soldier” out of this one, because here on my blog you mean “politician” or “Republican.”